Wednesday, 11 July 2012


When I first commenced this blog, I introduced myself as the Silent Victim adopting the non de plume of Si Victim.  The subject of silence and the way it affects victims of domestic abuse has been occupying my thoughts.  All victims, both male and female, initially remain silent.  Very rarely does one speak out or report the first instance of domestic violence.  Why is this?  I guess it’s usually because the perpetrator vows that it was an accident and will never happen again.  Months may pass without any incident and then the anger returns once more.  A descent into a cycle of abuse follows.  The victim remains silent; silent because they love their partner, silent because they share a life and family together, silent because of the expectations of society they feel, silent because they fear that no-one will believe them because their partner is well-respected, silent because they believe their partner will change and stop, silence to protect children, silent because it must be my fault for angering my partner, silent because no-one else is abused and silent because no-one wants to hear the truth.

The silence begins to take many forms, it evolves into deceit.  Visible bruises/scratches are due to being clumsy rather than being assaulted. “ I walked into a door” and its variants have become a well-established code for my partner did this, but because the victim can’t admit to being assaulted the person hearing the deceitful and protective excuses decides not to pursue their enquiry.

Unable to talk or share the domestic abuse, one’s own self-esteem suffers.  Fearing of saying the wrong thing in the home environment, the victim retreats into silence.  Not wanting to ignite their partner’s anger, the victim withdraws into themselves and only answers their partner in response.  Even then, the wrong answer could trigger abuse.  So the victim further distances themselves maybe even retreating into another room and keeping totally apart from their partner.

My silence took many forms.  I would withdraw from conversation with Sandra for fear of saying the wrong thing and triggering a violent reaction.  This evolved into making every excuse not to be in the same room as her.  When we travelled out in the car, every journey was in silence.  No matter what volume the car stereo was set at, it was always to loud for Sandra.  It always resulted in the stereo being turned off because no-one could actually hear it.  Sandra would shout aggresively then if someone knocked on the door of the house would suddenly become silent and pretend no-one was home.

I was silent to everyone, my family, friends, peers  Being silent turns into deceit and lies.  I couldn't speak up to anyone for a long, long time.  I'd rather mask my situation and tell lies that covered up the truth.  I had a public persona of a God-fearing, honest church minister but I was a fraud.  My whole life was one big deceit.
The silent treatment then begins to affect all aspects of the victims health: emotional, physical & mental.  The victim may then make a psychological cry for help that may or may not be heard. 

It takes a momentous journey to find your voice and speak out. It’s not an easy journey for many of the stigmas surrounding Domestic Abuse still exist.  However, it is a worthwhile journey.  Speaking out not only empowers you, but also empowers and encourages other victims to speak out.  You have a voice because you are not alone in your suffering, and you are not alone in your recovery.


  1. Wow...I never quite understood the man's side thank you for sharing.

  2. What happens when silence itself is the violence?
    And why even upon speaking up there is no redressal?

    1. All one can do is be strong enough to keep speaking up and trying to change attitudes to all types of domestic abuse